Dear Lost & Found Readers,

We are excited to share some recent and upcoming Lost & Found projects as the summer winds down. Highlights include recent publications by Audre Lorde, Toni Cade Bambara, June Jordan, Jack Forbes, and Julio Cortázar & Paul Blackburn, an upcoming full-length book by Diane di Prima as part of Lost & Found Elsewhere, and works-in-progress by John Wieners and Philip Whalen, updates on graduate student research and activities, and new initiatives such as Lost & Found: In the Classroom, and Lost & Found Now & Then.

Celebrating Series VII: Lorde, Jordan, Bambara, Forbes, Blackburn & Cortázar

This past semester we celebrated the publication of our highly anticipated Series VII of archival discoveries, which include:

The response to Series VII has been staggering! We have received an overwhelming amount of generous and thoughtful responses lauding the literary, cultural and political relevance and importance of these works, which continue to reach and impact new readers and educators, poets and activists, librarians and archivists, scholars and students, and the general public. We wanted to share one such personal and moving response from the legendary poet, essayist, and social activist Margret Randall, upon receiving Series VII:

"Dear Ammiel:
This is a note for all those who produce Lost & Found, especially those who facilitated, researched and wrote this most recent series of books. Paul Blackburn and Julio Cortázar! June Jordan! Audre Lorde! Toni Cade Bambara! Jack Forbes! I have been curled up on my couch, devouring these offerings. Remembering Paul riding around Mexico City with me in the 1960s, telling me about having discovered Julio's work... spreading some of his translations out on the wide dashboard of my car. Later, getting to know Julio, publishing him in El Corno, our friendship deepening until his death... Remembering reading with Audre at Hunter in the mid to late eighties. Must have been a benefit for my immigration case. Her words. What we learned from her deep teachings... And June: laughing with her as we made our way north from Managua to the Nicaraguan border—this was the early eighties—she taking it all in and insisting on calling Nicaragua Nigeria... an allusion to the fact that so few U.S. Americans even knew where Nicaragua was...These were some of the most brilliant minds of my generation. And we are losing so many today (Bobbi Louise Hawkins just this past week). Having these close readings, these insights, into aspects of their work that would otherwise be lost... SO VALUABLE. Lost & Found is surely one of the most important projects in contemporary literature and thought. College curriculums could be built around a number of these pamphlets, each bursting with history, brilliance and new questions.
Thank you all. Margaret Randall."

Recent Reviews, Interviews, and Excerpts from Series VII

For a deeper look inside the series, here are some highlights of recent reviews, interviews with editors, and excerpts from the books:

Audre Lorde, Toni Cade Bambara, June Jordan

Paul Blackburn & Julio Cortázar, summer 1968 in Provence, France. Used with permission of Joan Blackburn.

Series VII Launch Event

We would like to thank the engaged audience who came out in force to our Lost & Found Series VII launch event this past spring, featuring readings, presentations, and conversation with the Series VII editors: Alexander Pau Soria, Alison Macomber, Ammiel Alcalay, Conor Tomás Reed, Iemanja Brown, Jacqueline Cornetta, Kate Tarlow Morgan, Makeba Lavan, Miriam Atkin, Talia Shalev, William Camponovo. In case you missed it, or want to revisit it, click here to watch the video recording of the event.

Lost & Found Series VII Editors answer questions from the audience at the Series VII launch event.

Recent Public Events

Over the course of the year, Lost & Found has hosted numerous public events, ranging from book launches celebrating chapbooks and independent presses and memorials paying tribute to the legacy of 20th century poets, to events exploring the intersections of writing, resistance, and publishing, to the cross-cultural ideologies and teaching practices developed by a globalized network of poet-friends. Visit our extensive digital archive of past events, including highlighted events below:

Ammiel Alcalay, Victor Hernández Cruz, and Dorothy Wang

Poets and friends pay tribute to legacy of Thomas Lux.

Mythili Rao, Chiké Frankie Edozien, and Abdellah Taïa.

Celina Su reads at the launch event for her book Landia.

Mary Ann Caws presents on Marcel Duchamp and New York Dada.

Myckaela Wharton of Raven Press, Layla Benitez-James at the launch of her chapbook "God Suspected My Heart Was a Geode But He Had to Make Sure", winner of the third annual Toi Derricotte & Cornelius Eady Chapbook Prize, with the prize judge, Major Jackson.

For a more in-depth look at Layla and her chapbook, and our ongoing collaboration with Cave Canem, read 'Reach for the Right Things': an interview with Layla Benitez-James and Lost & Found Managing Editor Stephon Lawrence.

Revisiting A Tribute to June Jordan

In continuation with our ongoing collaboration with Cave Canem, Lost & Found also recently teamed up with the June M. Jordan Literary Estate Trust to organize “A Tribute to June Jordan”, a day-long intergenerational conference devoted to the legendary teacher, activist, and poet’s life, work, and legacy. We are extremely grateful to all co-organizers, presenters, sponsors, and lively audience who helped make A Tribute to June Jordan a success. We echo Jan Heller Levi, who said in her keynote, “most of all I want to thank June, who brings us all together again and again and again.” Click here to watch the video recordings of the keynote, panels, and readings, and here to read E. Ethelbert Miller's “Crossing the Jordan River into the New World,” on June Jordan's 1981 essay "For the Sake of People’s Poetry Walt Whitman and the Rest of Us".

Tyehimba Jess reads a poem by June Jordan at "A Tribute to June Jordan" conference.

The Power of Publishing: An Ongoing Collaboration with Raven Press

Lost & Found is proud to continue our collaborative work with the dedicated young editors of Raven Press! Mentor Alex Cuff has organized a series of events and Writers Lab Workshops for students led by poets Adjua Gargi Nzinga Greaves and Najee Omar, centered around writing, self-publishing, the ways voices of younger writers are received, as well as the ability to take their narratives into their own hands. Click here to read more about our ongoing collaboration with Raven Press.

Raven Press members at "The Power of Publishing!" event.

Supporting Archival Research for CUNY Graduate Students

Throughout the past year, thanks to generous support from the Early Research Initiative at the CUNY Graduate Center, Lost & Found was able to mentor and offer financial and logistical support for 13 CUNY graduate students’ research projects as part of our annual Archival Research Grants, Stipends, and Fellowships program. Graduate students’ archival research projects focused on a range of authors such as Muriel Rukeyser (translations of Arthur Rimbaud), Philip Lamantia, Diane di Prima, Thom Gunn, Jane Harrison, Audre Lorde, Sonia Sanchez, Helen Adam, and Darius James, and on topics such as queer cultural history that engages with the AIDS Crisis, the use of digital platforms to present and preserve various rich media and visual materials, and the founding, achievements and eventual closing of Kitchen Table: Women of Color Press, the world's first publishing company run autonomously by women of color. Stay tuned for the announcement of our 2018-19 graduate student grant recipients and their archival research projects!

Spotlight on Mary Catherine Kinniburgh's Archival Work for NYPL's Berg Collection in The New Yorker

Lost & Found editor, Diane di Prima Fellow, and organizer of the Primary Source working group, Mary Catherine Kinniburgh, recently had her work as archival specialist at the New York Public Library’s Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection highlighted in The New Yorker. Read the full article “The Odd Literary Paraphernalia of the New York Public Library’s Berg Collection” here in The New Yorker by Gareth Smit, and watch The New Yorker’s video here that takes you inside the Berg Collection of literary artifacts. Click here to read Mary Catherine Kinniburgh discuss her work as an archival specialist for the Berg Collection (and how the public can interact or visit), and her editorial and archival research work for Lost & Found and Primary Source, and how they intersect and inform each other.

Literary artifacts curated and displayed from the NYPL's Berg Collection. Image: Still from the video for the article "The Odd Literary Paraphernalia of the New York Public Library's Berg Collection" in The New Yorker by Gareth Smit. Image courtesy of The New Yorker.

Remembering Bobbie Louise Hawkins

We are deeply saddened by the loss of the brilliant poet, fiction writer, performer, teacher, and visual artist, Bobbie Louise Hawkins, who we were privileged to have worked with and published, and whose life and work remain a deep source of inspiration to us.

Bobbie Louise Hawkins. Photograph courtesy of the Allen Ginsberg Library at Naropa University.

In tribute to the legacy of Bobbie Louise Hawkins, Lost & Found editor Iris Cushing, who edited Hawkins’ The Sounding Word, transcriptions of two lectures at Naropa University, and visited and interviewed Hawkins in 2015, offers her reflections from her time and work with Hawkins:

“When I received the news of Bobbie Louise Hawkins’ recent passing, I instantly heard in my mind her voice asking me a question: “what is stronger than reality?” Bobbie’s investment in the real, in capturing the true cadences and rhythms of real life in her writing, gave her a power unlike anything else I’ve encountered. Recalling the profound power of Bobbie’s intimacy with reality didn’t exactly soothe my sorrow at her loss, but it did remind me that the pain of losing someone is part of reality—and as such, can be investigated, inquired into, known through language. In my time meeting with Bobbie in the fall of 2015, I was also struck by how crucial the process of invention was to her. She spoke of intellectuals inventing their own lives, of inventing various aesthetic practices for herself, of inventing ways of directly transmitting voice and personhood onto the page. Her capacity for the real was matched in her capacity for invention. When I think of Bobbie, I think of the remarkable balance of inventive power and straightforward realness that emerged in her novels, stories, and personhood. It was an absolute joy to get to know her as I did, and witness this balance unfolding firsthand, in Bobbie’s singularly simple, elegant way.” – Iris Cushing, Lost &Found editor
Click here to read the complete interview with Bobbie Louise Hawkins and Iris Cushing from October 31st, 2015 which took place in Bolder, Colorado, as well as links to the audio recordings of Hawkins’ lectures at Naropa University.

Bobbie Louise Hawkins as a disc jockey at an Albuquerque radio station in the 1950s. Image from the Selected Prose of Bobbie Louise Hawkins.

Introducing Lost & Found: In the Classroom

We are excited to introduce Lost & Found: In the Classroom, which offers the rich resource of archival texts as teaching materials and maps that connect past and present pedagogical strategies culled from Lost & Found: The CUNY Poetics Document Initiative. Ever since we published the CUNY teaching materials of Adrienne Rich in 2013, more and more, Lost & Found materials are making their way into classrooms and making an impact on students’ lives. As we continue to hear success stories of various Lost & Found texts in the classroom, we decided to curate configurations that we hope will be of use to you in your classrooms, organizational spaces, event planning, and beyond.

Click here for more information on the sets, which include “Resistance”, “Teaching Pedagogies/Methodologies”, “Feminist Practice & Writing”, “Friendship & Politics”, and  “Queer Poetics”, to name a few, and how to order and adopt these sets into your classroom, curate a set of your own, or adopt a single publication or Series from Lost & Found.

Announcing Lost & Found Now & Then: Archie Rand’s Eulogy for Cecil Taylor

Since the inception of Lost & Found in 2009, we have witnessed enormous losses in the wider community of affiliated writers and artists. A central part of our mission has been to connect younger scholars and researchers to the work and person of elders whose artistic world they inherit. As this world hurtles toward oblivion due to reliance on increasingly fragile, unstable, and fragmented means of transmitting the record, Lost & Found Now & Then adds a new facet to the prism we are constructing, a place for tribute and immediate response, as and when necessary. Look out for the first necessary publication of Lost & Found Now & Then, Archie Rand’s Eulogy for Cecil Taylor, in which Rand beautifully pays tribute to the “courage, integrity, genius and abundant generosity” of his late friend, the iconic and beloved jazz legend and poet, Cecil Taylor.

Poster created by Archie Rand for a Cecil Taylor and Max Roach concert. Photo courtesy of Jonah Siegel.

Upcoming Lost & Found Events and Brooklyn Book Festival 

In the meantime, as we continue to work on the development of Series VIII, this fall Lost & Found is excited to present the following free public events, which we hope you can join us for:

Photograph of Douglas Ridloff courtesy of the artist. Layered with modified image via Dan Taylr/Flickr.

New Book by Diane di Prima from Lost & Found Elsewhere, and Forthcoming Projects from Philip Whalen and John Wieners

We are also thrilled to announce the upcoming publication of Diane di Prima’s never before published masterpiece, Spring and Autumn Annals, a Lost & Found Elsewhere collaborative project with City Lights Books in San Francisco. Finished in 1965, one year after the death of her close friend, dancer and Warhol Factory member Freddie Herko, Annals adds further evidence of di Prima’s stature as a master prose-writer and chronicler of an era; with a preface by Lost & Found General Editor Ammiel Alcalay.

We eagerly await further publication news of two major projects originating in work undertaken and published by Lost & Found; Seth Stewart’s masterfully collected, edited, and annotated For the Voices: The Letters of John Wieners, and Brian Unger’s groundbreaking and revealing Bowed Some & Chanted a Little: The Literary Journals of Philip Whalen: 1948-1990. Stay tuned!

Support Lost & Found

If you haven't already, please consider purchasing Lost & Found for yourself or a friend. Buying our books is an excellent way to support collaborative archival research and alternative literary histories. You can purchase Lost & Found Series I - VII through Small Press Distribution, or directly from Lost & Found here, including individual chapbooks here.

Thank you for your continued enthusiasm and support of Lost & Found: The CUNY Poetics Document Initiative